Not all homeschool art curriculums are made equal. Not all homeschoolers are the same. Every homeschool parent goes through the pain and frustration of switching curriculums hand over hand before really finding the one that sticks. Art curriculums can be one of the most frustrating and difficult subjects to tackle when it comes to teaching kids. There are a million and one different ways you can learn art and let’s face it, you don’t have time to test them all.
So here’s a good 4 step strategy for finding the best, most effective homeschool art curriculum for your child.
Be observant: take note of your child’s learning style
As a homeschooling parent, it is your duty to learn the ins and outs of your child’s brain. You must always be taking notes, making inferences, testing theories with their learning. Like a school teacher, you can’t teach your kids if you don’t know how they learn best. So take the time to observe and dissect their most effective learning styles. And remember, each of your kids is unique. Don’t assume they all learn the same way because we all know…they don’t.
If you truly struggle to understand your child, how they learn and what’s going on inside their teenage brain, I’ve listed some ways to start spotting your child’s learning style. These will get you on the right track, but you still have to do the work of making observations and digging deeper into their personalities. As you read these common indicators think of your child/children and if you see any of these traits or behaviors in them. And remember, your child can learn multiple different ways but there will always be one prominent learning style they are great at. That one learning style is the one you want to engage in.
Common indicators of your child’s learning style.
Visual – Your child prefers learning with images and pictures.
- Your kid loves to play video games or watch movies
- Your kid likes taking or being in pictures
- Your kid describes stories with lots of visual cues(colorful, bright, cloudy day)
Auditory – Your child prefers learning with sounds and music.
- Your child loves to listen to music or the radio.
- Your child likes to beatbox or make sounds for emphasis
- Your child likes to sing, rap, or play an instrument
Verbal – Your child prefers learning with words in speech and writing.
- You catch yourself listening to engaging stories from your child
- You catch your child engaging in boring stories from you
- Your child watches lectures and listens attentively
- Your child is a very fluent writer
Physical – Your child prefers learning with his hands and body.
- Your child is a natural athlete
- Your child is a great dancer
- Your child loves to do hands-on things (i.e. cooking)
- Your child talks with their hands and body
Logical – Your child prefers learning with logic and reasoning.
- You catch yourself in a heated debate with your child
- Your child loves logic-based subjects like math and science
- Your child dislikes judgmental subjects like writing
- Your child easily understands others point of view
Social (Interpersonal) – Your child prefers to learn in groups with other people.
- Your child is in a lot of groups, clubs, or organizations
- Your child doesn’t like being alone
- You catch your child inviting friends over or going over a friend’s house often
- Your child is really popular or a natural leader
Solitary (Intrapersonal) – Your child prefers to learn alone.
- Your child loves spending the day alone in their room
- Your child is nervous before parties or group events
- Your child isn’t fond of the spotlight or being the center of attention
- Your child likes to read or do things alone
If you still can’t clearly see one of these as your child’s learning style it’s ok. Some of us do more assuming about our children than actual discovery. As you continue through your journey of finding your child a homeschool art curriculum you will better learn about them. Until then, you’ll have to resort to the old fashion way of doing things. Ask your child. Take each of those points and turn them into a question and voila! You have a comprehensive, 2-minute quiz to identify your child’s learning style. And who knows your kids better than your children themselves.
Or you can take this quick and easy 20 question quiz. Here.
Be thorough: find art curriculums and lessons that complement their style
Now that you know your child’s learning style you should be throwing a mini-party in your head or maybe even a real party. Either way that’s a lot farther than most parents choose to go with their children, so yes, you’re literally one step ahead of the game. However, everything isn’t rainbows and butterflies just yet. You still have to learn more about their learning style and find the best art curriculum to complement their style.
Most of the learning styles seem pretty straight forward. If my child is a visual learner he just needs video or picture lessons. And yes that is true. However, some of the learning styles can leave you a little more puzzled to figure out such as teaching art, a visual subject, with an auditory learning style. Impossible! Well, I’m going to give you a clear way to teach art to each of these learning styles, even auditory. If you’re curious or have multiple children you homeschool, read them all. Otherwise, feel free to jump down to your child’s learning style to get ideas.
Ways to teach art based on learning style
Visual – You hit the jackpot! Chances are your child will love art no matter how you teach it.
- Try video art lessons.
- Go to in-person art lessons.
- Use any of the following ways to teach art.
Auditory – You can do this! Just keep an open mind when teaching art and let your child guide you both to success.
- Try playing inspiring music they like while doing art
- Let them listen to podcasts about art history while doing art
- Let them watch or listen to video art lessons
Verbal – Easy peasy! Your child loves to read and write even if it is about art.
- Order art books and guides
- Let them watch art lecture videos
- Let them read art lessons with minimal pictures
Physical – You gotta get dirty! Your child will love getting hands-on to learn art.
- Try doing art lessons with real, hands-on supplies(hand-painting, clay)
- Let them watch video art lessons and follow along
Logical – It’s not rocket science! Make sure to explain the technique, logic, and beauty of art.
- Try art lessons about technique and skill
- Let them watch video art lessons in a logical order to improve
- Order art books that are very detailed and thorough
- Get an art mentor they can ask their questions to
Social (Interpersonal) – Make it a party! Throw some art parties and be the cool mom.
- Try group in-person art lessons
- Let them watch art lessons with other friends or kids(like an art day or art party)
Solitary (Intrapersonal) – Just let it happen! Sit back and let your child tell you what he or she likes.
- Try online art lessons so they can learn whenever, and alone
- Give them art projects that take weeks to complete
Be cheap: browse free art lessons and curriculums.
There are a ton of art lessons, guides, and courses for free all over the web. You wouldn’t buy a house before taking a look at it. So don’t commit to a learning style or homeschool art curriculum until you’ve tested the waters with promising results. Be cheap. That means YouTube art lessons, Google searching free art curriculums, borrowing friends art curriculums, creating your own curriculum, and anything else that costs $0. It’s not as hard as it looks. Once you’ve figured out what works best(which means your child enjoys it AND it’s effective) then and only then can you commit to your homeschool art curriculum.
Be committed: make the investment to their creative future.
When the time comes, and it always comes, you will have to pay up to take your child’s art learning to the next step. You have to be willing to spend some dollars and make an investment into your child’s future. You’re the difference between your child being the world’s next great art prodigy and just another kid that studied art at one point in their life. So put on your big girl pants, swallow your pride and make the commitment. It will be for the best.
On the other hand, you don’t have to spend a fortune to take your child’s homeschool art curriculum to the next level. It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to find a good quality homeschool art curriculum for your child. So when you see that ad for a $60 art DVD lesson, don’t be so quick to cough up your hard-earned money. There are many choices for art lessons in every price range. Sparketh, an online learning platform for kids and teens has hundreds of art video lessons all for a simple $25 a month. That is less than 4 cents an hour compared to art tutors averaging $40 an hour!
So before you make the mistake of being the next gullible parent to shell out hundreds for a few simple art lessons, do your research. But hey, at least it’s better than the parents not taking the commitment at all.